Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Middle One

My middle son is adopted, well kind of.  He is actually the son of my first husband's sister, which makes him our nephew.  He was our nephew, then he became our son, well kind of.

He came to live with us when he was seven years old after his mother, his little sister, baby brother, and his grandmother (my mother-in-law at the time), were killed in a trailer house fire.  He and my nineteen year old brother-in-law managed to escape.

He came to us damaged.  By the fire, by the loss of his family, and by an unstable environment before all of that.  His "real" father wasn't a member of the family for long, but long enough.  He never offered to take his son, I wouldn't have let him anyway.  He came around a couple of times and I let him visit while I looked on but then he did what he was good at, he left.

I wish I could say it all happened like you see in the movies or on the Brady Bunch, that once he was mine, I loved him like he was my own.  But I can't.  I tried, I really tried.  It wasn't his fault, he was a sweet kid and so needy for love. It was something lacking in me.  I remember thinking, "He doesn't smell like my own kids."  I remember breaking down in tears three years after he'd come to live with us and asking my then husband if we should have let him go to foster care, that maybe there he would have found parents that loved him like he deserved.

I felt like I was just going through the motions, and I felt like he knew that.  But I kept going.

He struggled, with a lot of things, with everything.  Shoplifting, gang-wanna-be, high school drop-out, drugs, marriage, rehab, relationships...

But he's still sweet.

And he's a good father, and that's a lot.

Through the miracle of fb, he has connected with some of his "real" brother and sisters (his father has died) and he went to see them last weekend.  I called him to see how it was going.

"I got some of the answers I was looking for," he said. "My brothers and sisters say he was a drunk and abusive.  I guess I was lucky not to know him"

I was thinking of him when I went to bed that night, and I thought of what a good dad he is and I wondered if he would be the father he is, if his mother had lived or if his father had claimed him.  I know that he was disappointed to find that one more parent figure in his life wasn't what he deserved them to be, the kind of father he is to his son.

I got out of bed and fired the computer back up and went to his fb page and posted for the world to see that I think he is a great father and that he should be proud of himself. I am.

He posted back, "Thanks mom. I learned how 2 luv from u. Thank u."

I think I just fell  a little more in love with my son.


  1. Oh my God Kary...this touched me so much. I have that kind of relationship with my nephew who I helped to (raise, rescue?) love when he was growing up. It was HARD! But even now he'll do or say something that makes me all in love with him all over again.

    Like how he recently found out that he was going to be a father.

    I was the first one he called.

    Now I'm going to go get a tissue...thanks for a beautiful post.

  2. You have touched me very deeply for a number of reasons. You are a great mom and you will be proud of your kids all your life.

  3. Things like this change my world. Thanks

  4. Wow....just wow to these responses, I had no idea this blog would touch you guys this way. I almost didn't write it, I'm still not used to working and I was dog tired but something kept urging me on (my Co-writer, perhaps?). This is one of those miracles that I was seeking when I quit drinking, and I'm almost afraid to put this in words because I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I sure seem to be getting a lot of prayers answered since I quit drinking. Knock on wood, hurry!

  5. I think I just fell a little more in love with you.